Reflection. It’s a scary and crazy thing. I’m forced to admit that I’ve had a lot of time on my hands lately to ‘think’. By think I mean worry, stew and contemplate what catastrophe will occur or more simply put – drive myself crazy. I know rationally what ‘they’ mean by rest is not particularly what happens in my brain when forced to lay still and stare at the ceiling, but I’ve never really been one to zone out and have unproductive thoughts. I’m sure you can see the problem. So as I ‘rest’ one of the things that has crossed my mind many times is what would my career look like if I wasn’t a Hair Stylist? What other profession would allow me to be productive and continue to work right now?
You see, when you can no longer physically do the things you love (in my case colouring and cutting hair) you start to wonder where life could have taken you if you had chosen a different path or even where life will take you if faced with not only with a fork in the road where you can choose left or right, but a solid 3 million ft high mountain which you are either forced to climb (be productive) or sit down in the middle of the road and cry (which would not be productive). I know I’m being dramatic. Indulge me a little bit.
And so I wondered. Then I wondered some more since I have the time to ponder. Here is what I came up with:
I’d want a career that helped people.
Seems simple enough. I would want to make a persons day better in some way so that after they spent time with me they would feel lighter, more positive and just all around happier because of the time we spent together. Many professions have the pleasure of helping people – you just have to have the genuine want to do it. You simply can’t fake this kind of stuff.
I’d want a career where I could form genuine relationships with people.
In order to help people and form a genuine relationship you need to see a person on a regular basis. That being said you can’t make a profitable career talking to people or that sort of pushes the boundaries of a ‘genuine’ relationship. For instance, you don’t have a relationship with your therapist since you pay them to listen to you talk. See my point? Psychiatry or Counselling, not an option.
I’d want a career that gave me the opportunity to teach.
This goes right along with helping people and forming genuine relationships. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is a Teacher and although I have a very healthy amount of respect for the profession, the thought of facing a room full of young children that still need assistance pulling their pants up and down or a room full of teenagers that stare daggers at you simply because the hormonal winds have shifted, is for me downright terrifying. I get enough of the hormonal winds at home thank you very much. Being a Teacher is not an option.
I’d want a career where the amount of effort I put in mattered.
This one might seem a little off but it’s very important to me. I’m an effort person. I want a career where my effort can get me results. I don’t want to work alongside 15 other people who are doing the exact same job, all putting in different amounts of effort yet all earn the same wage. It’s just not for me. It’s actually occurring to me right now that there are fewer and fewer jobs out there that offer this option. Interesting. When did it become a negative thing to recognize hard work?
I’d want a career where I could create my own business IF I chose to do so.
I thought this point was coming from hindsight but I should know myself better. I always wanted the option. Knowing that if ever my circumstances didn’t provide an environment that I could grow and flourish in I could take things into my own hands. This has heavily influenced how I run my business – there is never a ceiling for Stylists who choose to work with me – no end, no limit. If they have the ambition to take their career in a certain direction or have the desire to do something different from our ‘norm’ you’ll find me behind them applauding and supporting. People shouldn’t have to leave a job to excel at their career.
I’d want a career that allowed me to express my creativity.
Here’s where things get a little more selective. A lot of people express their creativity in their hobbies, not in their everyday jobs. This was important to me mostly because creative people are generally more emotional people. Don’t shoot the messenger. I need to let that creativity out on a daily basis and not just outside of work hours. Everyone that is creative has their medium. Identify it and embrace it. My medium is hair. I can’t explain why or how my medium is hair, it just is. Don’t ask me to sketch, paint on canvas, carve, sculpt, build, compose a symphony or any other creative thing. Just let me be creative with hair.
The consistent thing in each of these points is that I have always wanted a career. This is what it always boiled down to for me; the difference between having a career and working. A Career is defined as ‘a chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation’, while work is defined as ‘a mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment’. Can you see the difference? We all need to be gainfully employed but we are lucky if we can do that through our chosen pursuit. A Career.
If I weren’t a Career Hairstylist, what would I be? Simply put – I’d be unhappy. There are so many other careers I could have chosen but for me they’d merely be working. I’d be creatively stifled, working only for the end result, and not getting to live out the things above that are truely very important to me.
So at my current crossroad, without the physical ability to pursue my career do I wish I had chosen something different? Not for a second. I still have a career where I am helping people, forming genuine relationships, teaching, where my effort matters, creating different opportunities for business and the outlet of expressing my creativity. Do I miss working with hair? Like you’d miss the air you are breathing. It’s simply part of who I am. But on my 3 million ft climb straight up this mountain I’ve discovered that creativity is best shared, best never taken for granted and most of all best appreciated through the hands of others.
In closing my advice for anyone who feels my words resonate with them; If life throws you a curve ball – just catch it with your other hand. There is always another way to live happily. 😉
Thanks for listening,